NORTH SEWICKLEY, Pa. — A massive Christmas display at a home in North Sewickley Township was targeted and damaged again Tuesday night.
There are more than 400 lighted decorations outside Emmett Santillo’s home on Mercer Road. Overnight on Friday, Santillo and North Sewickley Township police said a few wires were cut.
“Why?” Santillo said. “Why would somebody do that?”
Santillo said when he was checking on his lights on Wednesday morning, he noticed even more wires were cut.
“Obviously, the Grinch came back and visited again,” he said. “It’s kind of sad these types of people would behave this way. It’s truly petty.”
Santillo started decorating his yard in 1994. Since then, it’s gotten bigger and brighter. He now has an estimated 200,000 lights.
Not only does he do it to bring some holiday cheer to the area, but he also collects donations to benefit the Beaver County Women’s Center.
“They need the support, they need the help this time of year,” Santillo explained. “It’s kind of frustrating that I would be abused, and that’s really what this equates to, to try to help an organization that I care about.”
North Sewickley Township police were aware of the first incident and were investigating.
Jeff Becze, North Sewickley Township’s police chief, and Santillo said because the lights have been tampered with more than once, it’s likely this wasn’t a random act.
In a statement to KDKA, Becze said, “The police department is working diligently to find out who’s doing this. After this has been done a second time, I feel that it’s something personal towards him which makes it personal to us.”
“I understand they’re doing it personally to me, but you’re actually hurting the community,” Santillo said.
Each time the wires were snipped, police said the scissor-wielding Grinch evaded cameras and the watchful eyes of neighbors. Although he wouldn’t go into detail, Santillo said he would make sure that would no longer be possible.
“It’ll be handled,” he said.
If caught, North Sewickley Township police said they plan to fully prosecute. If you have any information, you are asked to contact the police at 724-843-8118.